Hello Lou, what do you do at Unity?
Hi! My job title is Participation Co-ordinator so to break that down, it’s anything to do with learning and people getting involved in the programme or the other activities and projects we run here.
‘The Big Event’ sounds massive! Tell us about it…
Ha ha! Well it’s an annual event that is run through the Merseyside Youth Theatre Forum group. As the name suggests it’s the forums annual energy rush, where we bring some 100+ young people together to share some of the projects they have been working on, take part in a range of workshops and create new performances with guest practitioners. The forum is open to any youth theatre so we have a good mixture of venue-based and community groups from across Merseyside.
What’s Unity’s involvement?
We are an active member of the forum and Unity’s Youth Theatre members have taken part in it annually for some time. Over the last couple of years we have been delighted to be able to provide a venue for some of the workshops and for the final performances at our venue. We are just one part of a thriving ecology of theatre and performance making for young people and the forum benefits from the support, experience and expertise of people working in all aspects of the performing arts.
What do young folk benefit as being part of ‘The Big Event’?
Making new friendships and strengthening old ones, they gain a knowledge of other youth theatres out of their area. They get to work in different venues, work with amazing guest tutors and try a new disciplines and performance skills They get to socialise and let their hair down, have a laugh too…
Unity’s (amazing) Youth Theatre are also part of the event. Tell us a bit about those brilliant lot and what’s coming up!?
UYT have a brand new production on here at Unity this July & August…The piece is called Umbrelephant and it’s the outcome of research around the theme of young people’s mental health; the elephant in the room, the umbrella oevr us all. The performances are going to be in the round and for a limited number of people each time so we’re really looking forward to what promises to be a unique event for all!
…and finally, why is ‘The Big Event’ such a great thing for all those involved?
Well as I said above it’s got a lot of positive benefits for the young people taking part, but all of the practitioners and support workers have the chance to learn new stuff from each other, to network and share ideas. It’s going to be a top weekend!